Environmental impact of zebra mussel controls in nuclear power plants
Wong, Jason (Wei Chung)
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Industries that rely on the Great Lakes for cooling have battled the zebra mussel infestation for years. With increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability, decision-makers need to consider more than just monetary cost. This work compares two methods of zebra mussel control that are used in Nuclear Power Plants (NPP), chlorine and ozone, through life cycle assessment. The GHGenius model was used to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from each life cycle stage, from control agent production, through delivery, to end use of each method. The goal of the study is to estimate the amount of GHG produced per unit of water treated. While GHG analysis does not portray the entire picture for environmental impacts, it can be used to help future operators select a more environmentally friendly solution to zebra mussel control. For large NPPs, chlorination was found to perform better. Other considerations need to be considered for smaller reactors.